Comparison of Different Will Providers & How to Choose the Right One
Updated: Aug 5, 2021
There are generally 4 ways to do a will.
(1) Write your own will
(2) Use an online will
(3) Find a non-legal will writing service provider
(4) Find a lawyer
Unless you are in a deserted island with no internet access or in a plane that’s about to crash, forget about writing your will from scratch. There are free online templates and that can be your starting point.
Now, how to decide between online will, will writing companies or lawyer? Let’s start from price.
Going to a Lawyer - The Pros
Common myth: Going to a lawyer costs thousands of dollars.
That’s possible provided you are super rich or have super complicated requests. For most average people, you will be able to find a decent and proper estate planning lawyer for ~SG$400.
We recommend going to a lawyer if you can afford it because:
1. You can outsource the work to someone else
Writing a will isn’t difficult but there’s a lot of nitty gritty details. For example, while the law allows you to leave your house to all your kids, it may not be a good idea as that is a potential source for family dispute.
If you know what you don’t know, you can find out. Seeking a lawyer is particularly useful to help you figure out what you didn’t know you don’t know and have someone handhold you through the process.
2. You can have someone accountable
The biggest difference between lawyers and other providers is accountability. If the will isn’t done properly or you were given wrong advice, you can potentially sue the lawyer. If anyone disputes your will, your lawyer can help to defend.
Spend a bit of money for that peace of mind.
Going to a Lawyer - The Cons
Not all lawyers are the same. Some lawyer charges SG$99 while others start from SG$5000. What’s the difference?
Here’s our guide and tips on how to choose the right lawyer for you:
Ready to find a lawyer? Filter through our database here.
Using an Online Will
While we recommend going to a lawyer if you can, there are circumstances where the alternatives might make sense.
1. If you can’t afford SG$400
2. If you don’t want to pay SG$400
Now, let’s talk about online wills first because they lie on the other price extreme, costing between $0 to $100+.
Essentially, they are templates where you fill in the blanks and the online will platform takes care of the legal language for you. It’s most suitable for people who don’t have assets overseas, very sure no one will dispute your will and have a general idea of what can and cannot be done (for example, you can’t will your CPF).
We recommend everyone who doesn’t have a will to at least try an online will. It’s a great starting point as most online wills have prompts and tips to guide you through the standard process and you will learn the basics of what you need to know along the way.
Finding the Right Online Will
If you try googling for online wills, you’ll realize that there are tons of options. What’s the difference between them, especially the free versus paid wills?
Generally speaking, they differ in terms of the ability to customize your wishes, the amount of guidance/tooltips and the user experience. The free ones may be baits to sell you something else but some paid platforms can’t even match up to the free ones.
It’s all complicated and messy so we went to try out the different online will platforms, reviewed them so you don’t have to.
Here’s our review of some online wills (free, paid and even the almost non-existent Syariah digital will that can help you figure out which one works best for you:
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Non-legal Will Writing Service Provider
And now, for what we think are the most controversial - non-legal will writing providers. They are the in between and encompasses will companies, financial firms that help you do financial planning with a will add-on, insurers that sell you life insurance with a will top-up or even funeral parlors that do pre-death planning. Compared to an online will, they have the added extra human help component but compared to lawyers, they don’t have the legal accountability aspect. Cost wise, they generally fall between online will and lawyers although we have seen some that charges more than lawyers.
Here are why we think they are controversial -
What’s the justification for them charging more than a lawyer?
Is it better to top up a bit more to go to a lawyer?
A lot of online wills are very comprehensive, is it better to just use an online will if you are tech savvy?
How do we know the agents doing our will truly knows what they are doing or advising? Because they say so?
While we have doubts, we also see benefits -
They offer convenience. Convenience to do other life, death, estate, legacy-related planning all with one provider or one trusted person.
Regardless of which way you choose, the most important thing is to Just Get Started. Have the intent and Immortalize will help make everything easy for you. Proceed to Part 2 of the series where we explain how to choose the right lawyer [See article], or head to our marketplace where you can compare pricings, capabilities and other information, read reviews, book appointment real-time and explore more on how to conveniently and comprehensively plan for your legacy.
Find a professional, compare prices, and kickstart your estate planning
Disclaimer: Nothing in this article or site should be construed as providing legal advice or advice of any sort. The information provided are general in nature and may become inaccurate over time. Please consult a professional for advice.
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